Silent Night Standoff by Susan Sleeman

silent night standoff

What do you get when two hostage negotiators, a sniper, a bomb technician, an EMT, and their commanding officer live together? The answer is a family.

In Silent Night Standoff, the first installment in Susan Sleeman’s First Responders series, readers are introduced to this unique team of law enforcement professionals. Skyler Brennan, a hostage negotiator, is in the wrong place at the wrong time. While dropping off a check at the bank for an upcoming holiday party, Skyler finds herself in the middle of a bank robbery. After being rescued from her team and a man she believed left her for good, the threats one of the bank robbers made on her life become a reality.

Logan Hunter has returned to Portland to secure a promotion and with that accomplishment, his dad’s approval. The last person he expects to find in the center of a bank robbery is a former flame—a woman he hasn’t been able to forget. He’s pulled between his head (bringing justice to those involved in the robbery) and his heart (protecting Skyler at all costs).

A story of two people trying to overcome mistakes and hurts from their past and searching for what’s important for their future, Silent Night Standoff, captivated me from the first page. The action is constant, the characters are human but likable, and the mystery keeps the reader guessing until the end. The concept of these co-workers living life together reminded me of the relationships in Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series. I can’t wait to read to read the other team members’ stories.

To learn more about the First Responders or Susan’s other books, visit her website.

Order on the author’s website or from Amazon (kindle version available Nov 1 and paperback Nov 4)

Christmas for a Dollar DVD and Family Christian Stores Giveaway


I have a confession. As I’m sitting here writing this review, I’m listening to Christmas music. The other part of my confession is this is not the first time this year that I’ve listened to it (and it’s still October). I know, I know. Some of you are thinking I’m crazy while other are right on board with me. You see, I love the Christmas season. Christmas music is beautiful (and listening to it for only one month is never enough for me), people tend to be friendlier, and the weather is crisp and cool here in Tennessee. Even the Christmas movies are inspiring and uplifting.

Christmas for a Dollar is no exception. During The Great Depression, five siblings struggle through life a year after their mother passed away. Their father (played by Brian Krause best known for his role on the TV series Charmed) does his best to keep the family fed and safe. He knows he’s unable to give them everything they need, though. One evening he comes home with an announcement. He’s saved pennies and now they have one dollar they can use for Christmas gifts. They draw names and spend the days up until Christmas preparing their special gifts for each other. As the family works on their Christmas gifts, they learn the best gifts are often ones money can’t buy.

This heart warming movie fits right in with those aired on The Hallmark Channel at Christmastime. The members of the Kamp family each have their own struggles and, eventually, their own revelations. The viewer knows immediately this family loves each other but as the movie progresses, you see their love for family overflows and encases others in the community. A heartfelt and beautiful story of the importance of being kind and helping others instead of focusing on oneself during the holidays, Christmas for a Dollar is a great way to remind us of the true meaning of the season.

To order this DVD, visit your nearest Family Christian Store or order online here.

silver bells Win a Family Christian Stores Appreciation Certificate

Can you use a little extra spending money for Christmas? Perhaps your interested in purchasing Christmas for a Dollar for you and your family to enjoy during the holidays. You can win a $25.00 Family Christian Stores Appreciation Certificate that can be used in stores or online. Just leave a comment and tell me what your favorite Christmas movie is (if you don’t have a favorite Christmas movie, tell me what your favorite Christmas song is). I will draw a random winner on November 14, 2014.

****Family Christian Stores provided me with a copy of the DVD for review in exchange for an honest and fair review. They are also providing the appreciation certificate.

How Do I Have the Time?

Remembrance Cover

I am currently working on edits for the third book in my Remembrance series. Writing is more a hobby for me right now as I am most definitely not making much money off of these–I think my family and friends and the few people that have won my giveaways are my audience right now. The one thing I get asked most about my writing is “How do you have time?”. You see, because I don’t make enough to live off of on these books, I have a regular, 40 hour a week office job.

Here’s the thing though, I love writing. It’s something I enjoy right along with reading so when a story strikes me, I want to sit down and get it on paper (yep, I handwrite out a story before I put in in a document on the computer–in my mind, it’s one more edit the story gets before the final product). When I started writing last November for NaNoWriMo, I turned off my TV. I used to watch television every night but since Nov. 1 of that year, I’ve only turned it on for one show (If your wondering, I did watch 24 last summer).

And no, I don’t have kids or a husband to pull me away from writing but I still manage to get to the gym a few days a week for workouts and I have a little bit of a social life. I do hide away to work on my writing sometimes (I’ve found this happens most with edits) but I’m not chained to the computer 16 hours a day between my “real” job and my writing. So how do I find the time? It’s simple. I make the time. I set a goal for myself and figure out a strategy to reach that goal. Sometimes it might take me a little longer to get there than I initially planned but I will get there.

For more information on my books (Remembrance and Pursued)click on the titles in the left toolbar or visit my Amazon author page.

Searching for Home (Spies of Chicago Book 1)

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When an article shows up in the news paper about her great-great grandfather, Whitney is determined to clear his name. As she researches the life of Lewis Ingram beginning in 1886, she learns about his sister, Ellen, and his best friend, James Kent. Drawn to Ellen and James’s story, Whitney and a research assistant named Nate continue to dig for the truth even though Whitney fears Lewis was, indeed, evil. As they uncover the mystery, Whitney learns more about herself as well as her relatives.

Spanning two generations, over a hundred years removed from each other, Searching for Home addresses the fear of loneliness and the longing to find a place to belong. Jessica Keller writes from the perspective of Whitney today and both Ellen and James in 1886. The story is woven together seamlessly. The reader learns the answers about Ellen, James, and even Lewis, along with Whitney and Nate. There is some humor in how inept James is at the job that’s been thrust upon him and Ellen’s determination to follow.

A quick, enjoyable read with suspense, romance, a bit of humor, and characters who are flawed but lovable, Searching for Home does not disappoint. I am looking forward to more books in this series and hope to spend time with Whitney (and hopefully James and Ellen) again.

Order Searching for Home here.

Buttermilk Sky

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Mazy Pelfrey doesn’t know what to do with her life. She left home to attend secretarial school but she struggles to pass her tests and wonders if she chose the right path. When she meets Loyal Chambers, a local doctor’s son, she is captivated. He seems to like her and she hopes there is a future with him. She also has to tell Chanis Clay, the local sheriff who has always just been there and assumes he will marry Mazy, she has met someone else. Mazy’s faith sustains her through trials at school, with friends, and illness.

Yes, Mazy isn’t certain what she should do but I’ve been there in my life before and could easily relate to her struggles with deciding what was the best choice for her. The book is set in the early 1900s and alters between a small town in Kentucky and Lexington. Jan Watson’s imagery is vivid and you feel like you have been whisked away to that place and time. The characters are real—you dislike some, relate to others, and even pity a couple of them. This was the first book by this author I have read but it won’t be the last book. It was a quick and enjoyable read.

****Tyndale provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for either a positive or a negative review.